Industry News

Fed chief backs more study of subprime lending

Loans have helped more become homeowners, but are they used fairly?

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The "democratization" of credit has created more opportunities for home ownership, but questions remain whether uninformed consumers pay too much for home loans and whether lenders are competing in historically underserved communities. Those were views Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke shared with community development bankers this week at the Opportunity Finance Network's annual conference in Washington, D.C. In his prepared remarks, Bernanke said the Fed and community development bankers share a common goal of increasing economic opportunities. Access to credit is an important part of achieving that goal, the Fed chief said. Advances in information and communication technologies, improved methods of risk assessment, the availability of comprehensive information about applicant's credit histories, and access to funds from capital markets have led to the democratization of credit, he said. Lenders have gotten better at pricing risk, and are able to loan money to borrowers who mi...